OBJECTIVES: Gonorrhoea continues to be a public health concern in Belgium with pharyngeal and rectal infections increasing in persons with high-risk sexual behaviour. Belgian health care practitioners rely on international guidance when managing gonorrhoea resulting in non-adapted suboptimal care for the Belgian patient. This guideline will rectify this situation.
METHODS: This guideline was developed following an evidence-based approach and involving a guideline development group (GDG). Research questions were prioritised by the GDG and researchers conducted a systematic review of the evidence that was assessed using GRADE approach.
RESULTS: The guideline offers recommendations for gonorrhoea diagnosis, treatment and management for primary care professionals in Belgium and applies a risk group approach. This approach aims for improved identification of at-risk persons and targeted testing of at-risk groups; it includes behavioural questioning when deciding on diagnostic sampling and provides clear advice on treatment. The guideline defines when to add surveillance testing for antibiotic resistance, and what consists of good follow-up.
RESULTS: A concerted application of this guideline by all stakeholders in Belgium may result in improving the diagnosis of infections and eventually addressing the emerging multi-drug resistance.